MILL CREEK, Del. (AP)- A Delaware woman has learned why she couldn't renew her passport before a recent trip. Apparently, she was dead.
That was what U.S. passport authorities and the Social Security Administration believed.
At first, 49-year-old Terri Penza of Mill Creek thought it was a "crazy fluke." She had a credit card application turned down as well because she was deceased. And officials initially didn't tell her what was going on.
After a visit to the Social Security office in New Castle just days before a trip to Jamaica, officials confirmed Penza had been listed as deceased sometime in 2008.
Aidan Diviny, a Social Security spokesman, says he believes human error is to blame. But Penza suspects identity theft.
Diviny says the agency doesn't track how often people are mistakenly declared dead.